The Vanuatu Paralympic Committee(VPC) fraternity is mourning the loss of a young promising athlete Felix Willie who passed away last Saturday, May 9 at the Vila Central Hospital.
"Felix had been a promising young soccer player but had had his left leg removed through cancer. Hearing the weekly VPC radio program calling for people with a disability who were interested in playing sport to come along to Korman Stadium Monday Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Felix joined the parathletics squad and soon impressed his coaches Deni Kalenga and Odile Siro.
“Felix was very strong in the upper body so Seated Javelin and Seated Shotput were obvious sports for him,” remarked Deni Kalenga, VPC’s Head Coach.
Odile Siro commented, “All he needed was basic technique and some general fitness training.”
Felix soon showed that commitment to training that is needed from every athlete if they are to success. The VPC provides bus fares support to and from training so Felix could afford to attend the afternoon sessions as well as Strength & Conditioning training at the Vanuatu Rowing Club. This commitment to sport was followed by a commitment to employment.
Margaret Macfarlane, VPC President explained, “The VPC is very concerned not just with Athletes Pathways but Career Pathways, “We could see Felix would show the same commitment in sport to a paid job so were very pleased to be able to find full-time but flexible employment with Andrew Hipgame’s team at Recycle Corp. It really looked like Felix’s life was back on track.”
“We were starting to look for international competition opportunities when we received the very sad news that the cancer had returned and Felix had passed away Saturday May 9 at Vila Central Hospital,” said Deni Kalenga.
“The VPC ‘family’ farewelled him at VCH and also at the airport where his grieving family flew him to his home island.”